tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN March 2, 2013 6:00am-7:00am EST
the fewest aircraft since the air force was created in 1947. gallup has done a survey indicating that the confidence of the american people in our national security is at an all- time low since the questions were first asked in 1993. i am hopeful we can come together addressing these issues, and i am so hopeful that the president will change course. we know the policies of defense that work are peace through strength. i hope he will change his policies and recognize we must have peace through strength and not have a circumstance of potential attacks due to weakness. i am honored to be here with the chairwoman of the oversight committee. >> there is a better way to cut spending than slash our military.
in august of 2011, that is exactly what this was about, the harm the president's sequester would do to our military families. i cannot help but think about that mom whose husband is on his third or fourth deployment and she is watching all of this play out on the news and wondering whether or not she is going to be able to put food on the table, all while her husband is in harm's way fighting for the freedom and liberty you and i enjoy. it is unconscionable what the president is doing. we cannot tax our way out of the sequester. we cannot tax our way out of debt. the president received his tax increase in january. it is time he got serious so we can reprioritize what matters most, providing strong national
defense. it is unconscionable for this president to use our military families as pawns in his crusade for higher taxes. >> i mac thornberry from texas. the federal government has to get its fiscal house in order by cutting spending. they have to defend the country in a dangerous world. we do not have the luxury of doing one or the other. we have to do both. there are lots of options to do both. you have heard the house has passed a bill twice that would cut other spending and prevent the sequestration. the bill would not lay off or furlough anybody. i introduced a bill that would just delay further
implementation of the health care bill by two years. if you give them more time to get their act together, you save the taxpayers. there are lots of options out there to do both of those things. we need the senate and the president to adopt one. we are not giving up. just because it is march 1 does not mean we are holding our hands. next week, on the house floor, we are going to vote on the defense appropriation bill that will last through the rest of the fiscal year. that is not going to undo sequestration, but it is going to add flexibility and help
update the categories which will reduce some of the damage that comes from having a continuing resolution and a sequestration at the same time. we are going to keep working for solutions that protect the country, get our fiscal house in order. we need the commander-in-chief to do the same. >> thank you again for being here. now we can take a few questions. >> on the 27th of this month, you are going to be at the start of possibility the closing down of the government. the idea of passing just the defense appropriations, as chairman rogers would like to do, does not sound like it is going to get traction in the senate. are you going to push for an omnibus? at that point, a lot of these bills have been negotiated. on defense and a host of other
appropriations bills, it looks like we could get deals. would you push for an omnibus? >> it is a cr that will run until the end of the year. wrapped in that cr is the defense appropriations and veterans affairs. it will fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. you can call it an omnibus or whatever you want, but it does fix spending for the rest of the year. week get that passed next and see what the senate does. we are used to them not doing anything, but we are not waiting until march 27 to work on this. we want to get ahead of it. there is no thought of closing down the government. we have enough problems without getting into that. >> you have been raising concerns about these cuts ever since they were created.
there are some republicans in the last week or so that have indicated that they would be ok with these cuts, at least for the time being. would you say there has been a real change on your side of the aisle? >> i fought sequestration. i fought the $487 billion. but that is done. we accept that. the chiefs said they could live with that. they have had to change the strategy they have had since world war ii. they will not be able to protect us in two different places around the world. we look at korea aand iran. we pulled back. that has already been implemented. the sequestration gives them no flexibility. it just cuts every department an equal percentage.
it is a crazy way to do things. i am hopeful. we knew national security spending needed to be part of the deal. what i am saying -- and remember what i said -- 50 cents out of every dollar we have saved has come from national security. that is too much. >> you said you regret your vote on the budget control act. do you accept any responsibility for sequestration going through? >> there is enough blame to go around. many of these members voted against it. i took the leadership's promise that the supercommittee would do its work, that it would never happen. the president promised it would never happen. that has passed. it happened. that vote also was to raise the
debt ceiling. if we had not done that, we would have had a more serious crisis then. i was hopeful that we would, given time, come up with a better solution. we have not done it here and it has gone far enough. this is the end. >> [indiscernible]the idea of the sequestration, the meeting with many of you in the speaker's office, the multiple plans, proposals, press conferences, news releases, videos to try to inform members about the sequester -- what would you have done differently? >> part of the problem in all of this debate is the president, at the same time he made a promise to the american people it would not happen, he restricted the department of
defense from telling the people what would occur if he broke his promise. today we are standing here with the president having broken his promise and the department of defense scrambling. the department of defense has not been able to hand in their homework of what will happen. we have a better understanding of the consequences. this is dangerous. we agree with the president that it is wrong. >> you have been talking about this since august of 2011 every day. >> there is no question that the amount of articles that could have been written about the specifics of what this means to educate the american public would have been helpful while we were speaking words in committee rooms and press conferences. there is a gap between what everybody knows and what is
going to happen. we believe the president has broken his promise. >> could you explain more about if the appropriations bill passed how it would mitigate the effects of sequestration and how you could minimize the damage? >> we have two serious problems. the chiefs, in their planning, are handcuffed right now because we are operating under a cr, which keeps us on fiscal year 12 financing. we passed a defense authorization bill that gave them the opportunity to start more important programs. that was signed into law last december. unless you fund it, they are still hamstrung. if we do a cr for the rest of
the year or an omnibus or some kind of funding mechanism that does not give them the appropriations and the authority to move funds from one area to another, it severely impacts them. one of the greatest concerns we have is readiness. i know that we have troops that are being trained to go to the war theater and they are not receiving the same training they did just a year ago because those funds have been cut. if we do not pass that appropriations bill they will be cut further. i was told by the secretary of the army that he is going to have to cut 40% out of his operating maintenance account. this cannot be allowed to happen. >> is it a problem for your efforts that there seems to be a mixed message within your own party, that many people are
saying let the cuts go ahead. many of them are saying defense cuts -- we need them. i heard a lot of people saying things that are not in line with what you're saying. >> in congress, there are 437 people. we cannot be experts on everything. we have a greater knowledge of how the impact of these cuts will be on our national security. most people have forgotten or did not know about the $487 billion of cuts we have already made. most of the american people are looking at waste, fraud, and abuse. we are way past that. i saw a poll talking about our megaphone.
we have not reached the people. a very very small portion understands what the real impacts will be. they have not had a chance to visit the bases where the training is not being done that should be done. they have not seen down at fort rucker where the flying hours are going to be cut for the helicopter pilots. we know the problem and we are trying to reach out to all of our colleagues to make sure they understand it too. but that is a process that is going to take some time. >> are you willing to accept any revenue or tax increases if that is what the president wants? are you willing to bend on that issue? >> we just passed $600 billion of tax increases a few weeks
ago. probably many of us voted for that. did we want it? no. the president talked about a balanced approach. his balanced approach is increase taxes, cut defense. at some point, if he wants a balanced approach, he better start bringing mandatory spending to the table, because if we cut all of discretionary spending, we would still be running a deficit of $.5 trillion a year. most people understand the problem -- the mandatory spending. not bringing that into the discussion makes the rest of this an exercise in futility. >> it sounds like what you guys are talking about are things to give dod more flexibility to implement sequestration. do you plan anything to delay it or turn it off?
>> that was the second point i tried to make. we are not saying this is done. we are going to keep after it. i gave you three different proposals that would save money in other places other than the sequestration. we are going to keep looking for options. we are not going to say this is done. we have opportunities coming up as budget resolutions come up, with the debt ceiling in may. there is a lot of opportunity to go. i would say the only area of government spending that has an authorization bill signed into law by the president is defense. as we are looking for appropriations bills to pass for the rest of the year, passing defense, which is
consistent with the authorization bill he has already signed into law, makes perfect sense. we are going to do that next week as a step, but it is not the end. >> thank you very much. >> next, president obama and speaker john boehner on automatic budget cuts. live at 7:00, your calls and comments on "washington journal." >> imagine that we are in front of a group of 20-year-olds, and we asked them, i am launching a non-governmental organization that is going to try to save a butterfly in indonesia that is in danger of extinction. raise your hand those of you who like to help.
you'll find that among the 20- year-olds, you'll find people invested in that, which is great. then ask the same group, who wants to join me in a political party? who wants to join the democrat or republican parker -- party? much fewer would like to join a political party. that is very bad. i think political parties need to modernize, need to become more attractive to young people, to young professionals, because political parties are the essence -- the idea that you can have democracy without strong political parties is a very bad idea. >> and the changing nature of governmental and economic power, with moises naim. look for more booktv online,
like a son facebook. -- like us on facebook. >> a 23 inch models. placed in orbit by a rocket. you are hearing the signals cord from the satellite. one of the great scientific feats of the age. >> there was a very rapid governmental mobilization of resources in the united states to catch up. we could have put the first satellite up, but we were not in our rush until the soviets did it. for the next few years, there was a real race going on with the united states attempting to put a man in space. the russians did it first. then to put two people in space, the russians did that first. the russians put a woman in -- in first.
it took about five years before the united states caught up to the feats that the soviet union was performing in space. the ultimate goal of the race was to go to the moon. >> from the dawn of the space age through the space shuttle discovery, from the smithsonian national air and space museum, sunday at 7:00 p.m. eastern, on c-span 3. >> president obama has signed the order authorizing the government to begin cutting $85 billion from federal accounts. officially an acting across-the- board reductions known as the sequester. he acted just hours before the mandatory deadline. earlier in the day, the president spoke with reporters after meeting with congressional leaders at the white house. this is about 35 minutes.
>> good morning, everybody. as you know, i just met with the leaders of both parties in light of the severe budget cuts that start to take effect today. i told them these cuts will hurt our economy, will cost us jobs, and to set it right, both sides need to be willing to compromise. now, the good news is the american people are strong, and they are resilient. they fought hard to recover from the worst economic crisis since the great depression, and we will get through this, as well. even though these cuts are in place, all across the country, folks will work hard to make sure that we keep the recovery going, but washington sure is not making it easy. at a time when our businesses are finally beginning to get some traction, hiring new workers, bringing jobs back to america, we should not be making a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things that
businesses depend on and that workers depend on, like education and research and infrastructure and defense. it is unnecessary, and especially when too many americans are still looking for work, it is inexcusable. what is important to understand is that not everyone will feel the pain from these cuts right away. the pain, though, will be real. beginning this week, many middle-class families will have their lives disrupted in significant ways. businesses that work with military, like the virginia shipbuilder that i visited on tuesday, may have to lay folks off. military bases will take a serious blow. hundreds of thousands of americans who served their country, border patrol agents, fbi agents, civilians who work at the pentagon, all will suffer significant pay cut and furloughs.
all of this will cause a ripple effect throughout our economy. pay cuts means people have less money in their pockets, and that means they have less money to spend at local businesses, and that means lower profits and fewer hires. the longer these cuts are in place, the greater the damage to our economy. it will intensify every day. so economists are estimating that as a consequence of the sequester, growth will be cut by over one half of 1%. it will cost about 750,000 jobs at a time when we should be growing jobs more quickly. so every time that we get a piece of economic news over the next month, the next two months, the next six months, as long as the sequester is in place, we will know that that economic news could have been better had congress acted. we must be clear.
none of this is necessary. it is happening because of a choice republicans in congress have made. they have allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole to help reduce the deficit. as recently as yesterday, they decided to protect special- interest tax breaks for those well-connected, and they think that that is apparently more important than protecting our military or middle-class families from the pain of these cuts. i do believe that we can and must replace these cuts with a more balanced approach that asks for something from everybody. smart spending cuts, entitlement reform, tax reform that makes the tax code more fair for families and businesses, without raising tax rates. also we can significantly reduce the debt without laying off workers or cutting financial
aid for college students. i do not think that is too much to ask, and i do not think that is partisan. it is what i ran on last year. a majority of the american people agree with me. by the way, a majority of republicans do as well. we just need republicans in congress to catch up with the people in their party in congress on this, and if we did so, we would make a lot of progress. i do know that there are republicans in congress who, privately at least, say they would do this rather than let the tax cuts go through. there are democrats who would rather have smart tax reform rather than let these cuts go through. there is a common sense caucus on capitol hill, and we want to make sure that their voices start getting heard, and in the coming days and weeks, we will keep on reaching out to them
both individually and as groups of senators and in the house and say, "let's fix this." this is for years to come. the greatest nation on earth does not conduct its business in month to month increments or by going from crisis to crisis. america has got a lot more work to do. in the meantime, we cannot let political gridlock stand in the way of other areas where we can make progress. i was pleased to see that the house passed the violence against women act yesterday. that is a big win for not just women but for families and for the american people, and it is a law that will save lives. it is something that we have been pushing on for a long time. i was glad to see that done, and it is an example of how we can still get some important, bipartisan legislation through,
even though there are these fiscal situation sticking points, and i think there are other areas we can make progress, even with the sequester. i will continue to push for these initiatives. i will continue to push for things that every family wants, pushing to make sure we raise the minimum wage that families can live on, and for improvements in our transportation sector, and i will keep pushing for sensible gun reforms because i still think they deserve a vote. this is the agenda that the american people voted for. these are america's priorities. they are too important, and i will keep pushing to make sure that we see them through, so with that, i am going to take some questions, and i will start with you. >> how much responsibility do you feel you bear for the cuts taking effect? and is there any way to offset this, or do you see any
alternatives? >> look, we have already cut $2.5 trillion. everybody says we need to cut $4 trillion, which means we have to come up with another $1.5 trillion. the vast majority of economists agree that the problem when it comes to deficits is not discretionary spending, it is not that we are spending too much money on education, it is not that we are spending too much money on job training or the we are spending too much money rebuilding roads and bridges. we are not. the problem we have is a long- term problem in terms of our health care costs, and programs like medicare, and what i said, very specifically, in great detail, is that i am prepared to take on the problem where it exists, on entitlements, and do some things that my own party
really does not like, if it is part of a broader package of sensible deficit-reduction, and so, the deal that i have put forward over the last two years and the deal that i put forward as recently as december is still on the table. i am prepared to do hard things and pushed my democratic friends to do hard things, but what i cannot do is ask middle- class families, ask seniors , ask students to bear the entire deficit-reduction when we know we have things benefiting the well-off and the well- connected, who are not contributing to our economy. it is not fair. it is not right. and the american people do not think it is fair or right, so, you know, i recognize that speaker boehner has got challenges. i recognize that it is very
hard for the party leaders to be perceived as making concessions to me. you know, sometimes i reflect, is there something else i can do to make these guys -- i am not talking about the leaders now but maybe some of the house republican caucus members, not to paint horns on my head, and i genuinely believe there is an opportunity for us to cooperate, but what does not make sense, and another thing we have seen from a public and so far in terms of proposals, to replace this set of arbitrary cuts with even worse arbitrary cuts. that is not going to help the economy. that is not going to help growth, and it is not going to create jobs. as far as a number of economists have noted, it does
not even reduce our deficit in the smartest way possible or in the fastest way possible, so in terms of going forward, my hope is after some reflection, as members of congress start hearing from constituents who are being negatively impacted, as we start seeing the impact that the sequester is having, that they step back and say, "all right, is there a way for us to move forward on a package, on entitlement reforms, tax reform, not raising tax rates, identifying programs that do not work, coming up with a plan that is comprehensive and that makes sense?"
and it may take a couple of weeks, and it may take a couple of months. but i am going to keep on pushing on it, in my view is that, ultimately, common sense prevails, but what is true right now is that republicans have made a choice that maintaining an iron-clad rule that we do not accept more does not make it easier for us to get a large, comprehensive deal, and that is a choice to make. it is more important to preserve these tax loopholes than it is to prevent these arbitrary cuts. and what is interesting is speaker boehner just a couple of months ago identified that. these tax loopholes and tax
breaks. and said, "we should close them and raise revenue." it is not that it is not possible. they, themselves have suggested that it is possible. and if they believe that, in fact, these tax revenues and these tax breaks for the welloff and well-connected are contributing to growth, -- are not good for our economy, are not particularly fair, and cannot do more, why do we do that? it may be because of the politics in the republican party that they cannot do it right now. i understand that. my hope is they can do it later, and i just want to repeat, julie, i think is very important to understand. it is not as if democrats are not being asked to do anything either to compromise. there are members of my party that violently disagree on the notion that we should do
anything on medicare. and i am willing to say to them, "i disagree with you," because i want to preserve medicare for the long run, and we are going to have some tough politics in my party to get this done. this is not a situation where i am only asking for concessions from republicans and asking nothing from democrats. i am saying everyone will have to do something, and the one key to this whole thing is trying to make sure to keep in mind who we are here for. we are not here for ourselves. we are not here for our parties. we are not here to advance our electoral process. some are just learning to see the economy improved. businesses are just starting to see some confidence coming back.
this is not a win for anybody. this is a loss for the american people. again, if we step back and just remind ourselves what it is we are supposed to be doing, hopefully common sense will allow them. >> any thing you are willing to bear responsibility for? >> judy, give me a sense of what i should do. what i am suggesting is i put forward a plan that calls for serious spending cuts, serious in time and reforms, goes right -- entitlement reforms, goes right at the problem, the long- term deficit problem, and i have offered to negotiations around that so-called balanced approach, and this is because of what seat -- what speaker boehner and republicans and said, that we cannot do any
revenue. we cannot do one dime's worth of revenue, so what can i do different? i just want to clarify. if you have a suggestion, i am happy. this is a roomful of smart folks. all right. >> at the end of the month, that expires at the end of the month, would you sign the cr that continues the sequester, and have you really truly reached the limits of your persuasive power with republicans that this is not the way to go? >> i would like to think i have still got some persuasive power left. let me check. [laughter] the issue is not my persuasive power. the american people agree with my approach. they agree that we should have a balanced approach to deficit reduction.
the question is can the american people helped persuade their members of congress to do the right thing, and i have a lot of confidence that over time, the american people will express their displeasure about how things are not working, there will be a response, eventually, congress catching up. keeping the government open, trying to make sure our viewing audience does not think we are talking in washington terms. what is called a continuing resolution, which is essentially the extension of last year's budget into this year's budget to make sure that basic government functions continue. i think it is the right thing to do to make sure we do not have a government shutdown, and we agreed to a certain amount of money that would be spent each year and certain funding levels for military, our
education system, and so forth. if we stick to that deal, then i will be supportive of us sticking to that deal. it is a deal that i made. the sequester are additional cuts on top of that, and until we take the sequester a way, we have to abide by those additional cuts, but there is no way why we should have another crisis by shutting the government down in addition to these arbitrary spending cuts. >> funding the budget even at the lower levels of sequester, even if you do not agree? >> i think it is fair to say that i made a deal for a certain budget, certain numbers.
there is no reason why that deal needs to be reopened. it was a deal that speaker boehner made as well and all of the leadership. the bill that is on my desk is reflective of the commitments that we previously made, and, obviously, i would sign it because i want to make sure we will keep on doing what we need to do for the american people. jessica? >> mr. president, to your question of what you could do, could you just refuse to let them leave the room until you have a deal? >> i mean, jessica, i am not a dictator. i am the president. ultimately, mitch mcconnell or john boehner would say, "we
need to vote or catch a plane." i cannot have secret service block the door. i understand. i know that this has been some of the conventional wisdom that has been floating around washington, and somehow, even though most people agree that i am being reasonable, even though that most people would agree that i am presenting a fair deal, the fact that they do not take it means that we should somehow do a jedi mind meld and convince them to do what is right. well, they are elected. we have the constitutional system of government. the speaker of the house and the leader of the senate and all of those folks have responsibilities. what i can do is i can make the best possible case. i can speak to the american
people about the consequences of the decision that congress is making or the lack of decision making by congress. ultimately, it is a choice they make. this idea that somehow there is a secret formula or secret sauce to get speaker bather or mitch -- boehner or mitch mcconnell to say, "you know what, mr. president? you are right. we should close some tax loopholes for the well-off and well-connected in exchange for some serious entitlement reform." i think if there was a secret way to do that, i would have tried it. i would have done it. what i can do is make the best possible argument, and i can offer concessions, and i can offer compromise. i can negotiate.
i can make sure that my party is willing to compromise and is not getting ideological or talking about these just in terms of political terms, and i think i have done that, and i will continue to do that. what i cannot do is force congress to do the right thing. the american people may have the capacity to do that, and this will allow the speaker of the house and others to put middle-class families, whatever political imperatives that he has right now, we are going to have these cuts in place, but, again, i am hopeful about human nature. i overtime, they will do the right thing, and i will keep on reaching out and see if there are other ways to do this so we have a better result. >> what about people like mayor
bloomberg, who is no critic of yours, he endorsed you, what he talks about posturing. >> jessica, look. let me give you an example. the department of defense right now has to figure out how the children of military families are going to continue with their schooling over the next several months because teachers at these bases are typically civilians. they aren't there and subject to furlough, which means that they may not be able to teach one day a week. now, i expect that we will be able to manage around it, but if i am a man or woman in uniform in afghanistan right now, the notion that my spouse
back home is having to worry about whether or not our kids are getting the best education possible, the notion that my school or that my children at an army base might be disrupted because congress does not act, that is an impact. mayor bloomberg and others may not feel that impact. i suspect that they will not, but that family will. the border patrol agents, they are in the hot sun. they are doing what congress said they are supposed to be doing. finding a suddenly they are getting a 10% pay cut, and having to go home and explain that to their families, i do not feel like they feel this is exaggerated. so i guess it depends on where you sit. now, what is absolutely true is that not everybody is going to feel the effect or feel it all at once.
what is true is that an accumulation of those stories all across, folks who suddenly, working all of their lives to get an education just so they can get that job and get off of welfare, they have got their kid in head start, and now they're head starts lott is gone, and there are trying to figure out, how am i going to keep my job, because i cannot afford child care anymore. some of the shipbuilder is down in virginia, you have got some small businesses, and this is all they do, and they may shut them down, and those employees will be laid off. the accumulation of all of those stories of impact is going to make our economy weaker. it is going to mean less growth. it is going to mean hundreds of thousands of job losses. that is it. we are not making that up. that is not a scare tactic,
that is a fact. starting tomorrow, everybody here, all of the folks who are cleaning the floors at the capitol -- now that congress has left, somebody is going to be vacuuming and cleaning those floors and throwing out the garbage. they are going to have less pay. the janitors, the security guards. they just got a pay cut. and they have to figure out how to manage that. that is real. so i want to be very clear here. it is absolutely true that this is not going to precipitate the kind of crisis we talked about america defaulting and some of the problems around the debt ceiling. i do not anticipate a huge financial crisis, but people are going to be heard. -- hurt. the economy will not grow as quickly as it would have.
and in climate will not go down -- unemplopyment will not -- unemployment will not go down as quickly as it would have. and there are whys behind that. that is the problem. >> mr. president? >> mr. president? >> hey. >> mr. president, months ago, it looked like you would be averse. -- averse to the prop 8 case. i want to know if you can talk to buy your deliberations in your thinking on that, the conversations that were important to you. >> as everybody here knows, last year, upon a long period of reflection, i concluded that we could not discriminate against same-sex couples when it comes to marriage. that the basic principle that america is founded on, the idea
that we are all created equal, applies to everybody. regardless of sexual orientation, as well as race or gender. or religion. or ethnicity. and, you know, i think the same evolution that i went through is the evolution that the country as a whole has gone through, and that is a family- positive, so that when the supreme court was taking this case about california's law, i thought it was important for us to articulate what i believe and what this administration stands for, and although i do
think that we are seeing on a state-by-state basis progress being made, more states recognizing same-sex couples and giving them the opportunity to marry and maintain all of the benefits of marriage that heterosexual couples do, when the supreme court asks, you would think that the california law, which does not provide any rationale for discriminating against same-sex couples other than just the notion that, well, they are same-sex couples -- the supreme court asked me or my attorney general or solicitor general, do we think that meets constitutional muster, i felt it was important for us to answer that question honestly, and the answer was no.
>> given the fact that you do hold that position about a gay marriage, i wonder if you have given a thought about once he made a decision to weigh in, that the marriages are right, that they should be available to all people? >> well, that is an argument i made personally. the solicitor general, in his institutional role of going before the supreme court is obliged to answer the specific question, and the specific question presented before the court right now is about prop 8 and the california law, whether it is unconstitutional. we put it forward what applies to all equal-protection cases. whenever a group is being discriminated against, we ask the question, what is the rationale, and if you do not have a good reason, we strike it down. same-sex couples are a group, a
class that deserves heightened scrutiny, in the supreme court needs to ask why the state is doing it, and if they do not have a good reason, it should be struck down. that is the core principle. the court may decide that if it does not apply in this case, it may not apply in any case. if i were on the court, that will probably be the view that i prefer, but i am not a judge at present. -- judge, i am the president. let's treat everybody fairly, and i think the brief that has been submitted accurately reflects our views. >> you said a few minutes ago, and you have said repeatedly that the country has to stop living from crisis to crisis,
and with a few crises behind us and a few crises ahead of us, how as the leader of this country do you plan to stop the country from careening from crisis to crisis? >> a couple of things. one is to make sure that we keep making progress wherever we can on things that are important to middle-class americans. if you set aside the budget crisis, we have been able now to get the violence against women act, and there are the things about immigration reform moving forward, we have seen great interest in a bipartisan fashion about how we can continue to improve our system, including around early childhood education. there have been constructive discussions about how to reduce gun violence, and i am going to
keep on trying to make sure that we push on those things that are important to families, and we will not get everything done all at once, but we can get a lot done, so that is point number one. with respect to the budget, what i have done is to make a case to the american people that we have to make sure that we have a balanced deficit-reduction but that the deficit reduction alone is not an economic policy. part of the challenge that we have had here is not only congress but washington, generally, spends all of its time talking about deficits and does not spend a lot of time talking about how to create jobs, so i want to make sure we are talking about both. i think, for example, we could
put a lot of people back to work, rebuilding our roads and bridges. we know we are going to have to do it. i went to a bridge that connects john boehner's state to mitch mcconnell's state -- how do we do it? how do we create jobs that will be good for businesses and improve commuter safety? that has to be part of the conversation, not just about cutting and spending. what i want to do is make sure we are constantly focused, that are true north is looking at how to make american families succeed. deficit-reduction is part of that agenda, but it is not the
only part, and i do not want us to be paralyzed because we disagree on this one thing. as i already said to jessica, over time, perhaps after republicans step back, and maybe they say, we were tough on sequester, and this makes us feel good, maybe then we can have a more serious discussion about what the more serious problems or. -- the real problems are. the good thing about america is that sometimes we get to these bottlenecks and gets stuck. we have these sharp partisan fights. but people have common sense and are practical, and
eventually, that common sense and practicality wins out. in the meantime, just to make a final point about this question, we will get through this. this is not going to be an apocalypse, i think as some have said. it is just dumb. and it will hurt people in this country and the economy overall. but if congress comes to its senses, we can now one month from now, three months from now, then there is a lot of open running room for us to advance the agenda of the american people dramatically. and this is a temporary stop with an outstanding prospect for american growth. all right? thank you very much.
cut spending, the house should not have to pass a bill before the senate does anything. i would hope that the senate would act. let's make it clear -- when the president got his tax hikes, this discussion about revenue is over. it is about taking on the spending problem in washington. i did say the house is going to move a continuing resolution next week to fund the government. i am hopeful that we won't have to deal with the threat of a government shut down while we are dealing with the sequester at the same time. the house will act next week and i hope the senate will follow suit. thanks.
>> next, live, your calls and comments on "washington journal." after that, a house hearing on border security. then the doctor oz talks with u.s. government about public health issues. >> at one point, steinbeck had to write a small paragraph that said, people are asking what happened to charley. when he says week, it is a lane and john. it is not john and and charley. steinbeck wrote about a page and a half on a legal tablet saying, people have asked about him.
when my lady joined me in seattle, he took his third position in a family thing. he is fine. that never came up in the book. what they did, editors went in and expunged elaine from the west coast, almost 30 days of her presence with john on the west coast. there were not cannot. there were not studying america. >> bill steigerwald took some liberties with the truth in "travels with charley" that it cannot be considered nonfiction. >> this morning, nancy cook talks about when specific federal budget cuts take effect and their impact on u.s. economy. then it turned jacobs looks at the proposed merger between american airlines and u.s. american airlines and u.s.